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James Cameron Slams Marvel, DC Characters: "They All Act Like They're In College"

The Avatar director isn't happy with how superhero movies are. 

James Cameron has a beef with the characters in superhero movies 

The Oscar-winning filmmaker expressed his disdain in The New York Times where he said, “When I look at these big, spectacular films — I’m looking at you, Marvel and DC — it doesn’t matter how old the characters are, they all act like they’re in college.

“They have relationships, but they really don’t. They never hang up their spurs because of their kids. The things that really ground us and give us power, love, and a purpose? Those characters don’t experience it, and I think that’s not the way to make movies.”

This isn't the first time Cameron has hit out at the superhero genre. In 2017, he dissed Wonder Woman, and in  2018, while promoting his new docu-series AMC Visionaries: James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction, Cameron famously said, “I’m hoping we’ll start getting Avenger fatigue here pretty soon."

A few months later, he took a swipe at Aquaman for a lack of realism. 

But he changed his tune a year later when Avengers: Endgame's global box-office haul briefly took over Avatar's. (Avatar currently holds the top spot with US$2.9 billion — thanks to its recent re-release — while Endgame comes in second with US$2.8 billion.) 

The Titanic auteur and explorer reportedly said (via USA Today) he "really enjoyed" the superhero epic and admires the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Cameron has joined Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Steven Soderbergh, Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, and more in voicing their criticism of the genre.

Scorsese famously told Empire in 2019, “I don’t see [Marvel films]. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.

“Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

However, he later clarified that his comments were directed at all superhero films, as opposed to just Marvel. He said: "I said superhero films, I never — I don't even know Marvel. I remember Marvel was a comic book."

The Taxi Driver helmer also clarified his "theme park" comment, suggesting that studios have wanted films to become as important as Disneyland in American culture.

He explained: "I remember when Disneyland was built, I'm that ancient. One of the aspirations of the studios was to become as important in a sense to American culture as Disneyland."

Coppola backed Scorsese's take on superhero films are being real cinema, calling them "despicable".

"When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he's right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration," the Godfather director said at the Lumiere Festival in Lyon, France.

"I don't know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is."

Guardians of the Galaxy director and newly appointed co-CEO of DC Studios James Gunn responded to the attacks on Instagram: "Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them "despicable".

"Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same. I remember a great uncle to whom I was raving about Star Wars.

"He responded by saying, "I saw that when it was called 2001, and, boy, was it boring!" Superheroes are simply today's gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful. Like westerns and gangster movies (and before that, just MOVIES), not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses. And that's okay. (sic)"

Cameron's long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water will arrive in cinema in December, 13 years after the original. It will be followed by three sequels set for December 2024, December 2026, and December 2028. The Avatar movies are produced by 20th Century Studios, which is owned by Disney, the same folks behind Marvel Studios. 

Avatar: The Way of Water opens in cinemas Dec 15. .— BANG SHOWBIZ

Related topics

Hollywood James Cameron James Gunn Martin Scorsese Ridley Scott Francis Ford Coppola

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